FRIDAY, 27 March
LJUBLJANA - PM Janez Janša called for joint EU action to fight the coronavirus crisis as he attended an EU summit via a videoconference on 26 March. "The scale of the crisis is truly large and may have grave and fateful effects on the cohesion of the EU and the economic and monetary union," he was quoted as saying by the Government Communication Office.
LJUBLJANA - 52 new Covid-19 cases were confirmed but no new deaths recorded in Slovenia, putting the national total of infected persons at 684 and death toll at nine. The infected included 83 residents and 23 staff at care homes. 90 patients were at hospitals, of whom 25 in intensive case.
LJUBLJANA - The government announced all Slovenians returning to Slovenia from coronavirus hotspots would be put into state-administrated quarantine. As a result, a group of over 40 Slovenian citizens who were flown in from Spain late on 26 March, were not sent into self-isolation but quarantined in a hotel in Velenje for two weeks.
BRUSSELS, Belgium - EU ministers in charge of development and European cohesion policy, among them Slovenia's Zvonko Černač, appealed to the European Commission to come up with a second set of measures enabling more flexibility in the phasing of EU funds to tackle the coronavirus epidemic ramifications.
LJUBLJANA - In the wake of production shutdowns and public life grinding to a halt, electricity consumption in Slovenia dropped by 3.89% between 12 and 26 March compared to the same period in 2019, data from the state-owned electricity distribution system operator SODO showed.
LJUBLJANA - The government concluded a contract with the state-owned Kopp Izobraževanje company to provide maritime piloting services in the port of Koper as a public service. So far these services had been provided by private company Piloti Koper. Under the decree, the contract is concluded for up to ten years.
LJUBLJANA - The Environment Agency measured record high concentrations of around 400 microgrammes per cubic metre of harmful PM10 particles around Slovenia as Saharan dust reached Europe. The allowed level is 50 microgrammes per cubic metre.
SATURDAY, 28 March
LJUBLJANA - The government adopted a EUR 3 billion fiscal stimulus package meant to mitigate the impact of coronavirus for businesses and households. While upgrading support measures for companies like pay compensation for temporary lay-offs, tax and loan payment deferrals and adding things like loan guarantees and financing of social contributions, the scheme was expanded to include temporary basic income for the self-employed and allowances for pensioners, large families and students. The package includes bonuses for vital staff and a pay cut for public office holders. The measures would apply for two months but could be extended.
LJUBLJANA - Two persons died in Slovenia as a result of Covid-19, putting the total number at eleven. The number of confirmed cases rose by 46 to 730, with the increase comparing to 52 on Friday and 70 on Thursday. The number of hospitalised patients increased by 11 to 101, 23 of whom need intensive care.
LJUBLJANA - The first confirmed case of coronavirus in a prisoner in Slovenia was confirmed as Slovenia's largest incarceration facility in Dob said one inmate had fallen ill.
LJUBLJANA - More than 58% of those polled trust the government is doing the right thing amid the coronavirus epidemic, with 22% not trusting it, a poll released by the newspapers Dnevnik and Večer showed. Over 55% said the planned government measures to help business, sole proprietors and the self-employed were sufficient, around 25% consider them inadequate and 20% said they were not familiar well enough with them to comment.
LJUBLJANA - Slovenian spas, closed since mid-March due to the coronavirus epidemic, estimate "an alarming 30-35% loss of revenue this year", Association of Slovenian Natural Spas director Iztok Altbauer told the STA.
LJUBLJANA - Under a decree published in the Official Gazette, Slovenian air traffic will remain severely restricted as the government extended the 17 March ban on passenger flights. Flights to and from non-EU countries are banned until further notice while flights to and from EU destinations remain suspended until 13 April.
SUNDAY, 29 March
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's tally of confirmed coronavirus cases rose by 26 to 756, but there were no new deaths, so the death toll remained at eleven. 115 Covid-19 patients were in hospital, 28 of them in intensive treatment units. As many as 108 of those who tested positive were health workers, 24 of them at care homes.
LJUBLJANA - A law allowing a one-month suspension of a prison sentence and an early release of prisoners up to six months before the end of their sentence entered into force. Justice Minister Lilijana Kozlovič announced on 30 March that prison sentences had been suspended for 68 persons and an additional 15 prisoners had been released early under the measures in administrative matters to contain the coronavirus epidemic.
LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor honoured those helping society to function as normally as possible amid the coronavirus epidemic with the Apple of Inspiration. At a symbolic ceremony in an empty hall at the Presidential Palace, he said their selfless contribution inspired hope.
MONDAY, 30 March
LJUBLJANA - Stricter movement restrictions confining residents to their home municipality except in few exceptions such as going to work kicked in under a 29 March decree to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The government decided to step up the restrictions following reports of people continuing to visit popular weekend destinations despite being advised to stay home. Face masks also became mandatory in closed public spaces. The measures, including disinfecting of multi-apartment buildings, were on 31 March criticised as unnecessary by National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) acting head Ivan Eržen, noting they had not been coordinated with NIJZ.
LJUBLJANA - Trade unions and businesses largely welcomed the EUR 3 billion bill to help the economy and society cope with the coronavirus crisis as a way of averting massive layoffs. However, the unions said certain groups had been left out and the government had ignored social dialogue in adopting it. The Chamber of Commerce said it expected more liquidity-boosting measures to follow in the next similar aid package.
LJUBLJANA - Opposition parties mostly voiced support for the government-sponsored EUR 3 billion stimulus package to mitigate the impact of coronavirus, with the left-leaning ones however criticising provisions giving police sweeping powers to control the movement of infected individuals. The parliament's legal service also highlighted a number of shortcomings in as many as two-thirds of the bill.
LJUBLJANA - The Information Commissioner and the Human Rights Ombudsman warned against giving police sweeping powers to control the movement of infected individuals as part of the government fiscal stimulus bill in a bid to contain the epidemic. They said this would violate basic constitutional rights, turning Slovenia into a police state. The coalition partly heeded the criticism, withdrawing on 1 April the provision allowing the police to track people in quarantine without a court warrant, create photo robots and enter apartments. But the bill still allows the police to search for people, use photo facial recognition, set up road blocks, temporarily prevent the movement of people and collect and process sensitive personal data.
LJUBLJANA - Business sentiment and consumer confidence in Slovenia plummeted in March amid the coronavirus epidemic; Statistics Office data showed the business sentiment index dropped to -3.7 percentage points, down 12.5 points year on year. The last time it was in the negative territory was in August 2014. Consumer confidence sunk to the lowest since May 2016, having declined 11 points since March 2019.
LJUBLJANA - Housing prices rose by 5.2% in 2019, the fifth consecutive year of growth, data from the Statistics Office showed. The number of real estate transactions went up by 4%, while the value of the deals amounted to EUR 1.3 billion, up roughly 6% on 2018.
TUESDAY, 31 March
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's central bank Banka Slovenije said the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the Slovenian economy will likely be higher than in the last global financial crisis; it expects GDP to contract by between 6% and 16%, but it projection had not factored in emerging fiscal and monetary policy measures.
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's Covid-19 death toll rose to 15 as four people died on Monday and Tuesday, with the number of new coronavirus cases increasing by 46 to 802 on Monday and to 841 on Tuesday. The authorities said a quick look at the epidemic showed a more favourable situation than in Italy's worst hit areas, but still did not inspire optimism. Nursing homes remained the main hot spots, with 137 residents and 30 staff having contracted the disease.
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's annual inflation rate dropped to 0.5% in March from 2% in February. The prices of food, which were up 4.9%, contributed 0.7 of a percentage point to the annual inflation in March. On the monthly level, a deflation of 0.8% was recorded mainly due to lower electricity prices.
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia recorded a general government surplus of EUR 260 million or 0.5% of GDP in 2019 after already posting a EUR 330 million surplus in 2018. Expenditure growth, at 5.2%, was higher than revenue growth, at 4.8%. Consolidated debt decreased by EUR 479 million to EUR 31.7 billion or 66.1% of GDP, Statistics Office data showed.
LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian Olympic Committee (OKS) welcomed the proposed fiscal stimulus package, but noted that sports organisations in Slovenia had so far recorded a drop in expected revenue of more than EUR 25 million. A survey has also shown that around 800 full-time jobs in the sport industry are at risk.
LJUBLJANA - The pan-European Europa Nostra organisation released a list of seven most endangered European cultural heritage sites for 2020, with a stadium designed by acclaimed 20th-century Slovenian architect Jože Plečnik also making the list.
LJUBLJANA - Zdravljica, a poem written in the 1840s by Slovenia's France Prešeren to celebrates peace, freedom and fraternity, was awarded the European Heritage Label by the European Commission alongside nine other pieces of heritage which testify about European ideals, values, history and integration. The seventh stanza of Zdravljica, or A Toast in English, set to music by Stanko Premrl in 1905, was chosen to be Slovenia's national anthem in 1990.
LJUBLJANA - DARS, the state-owned operator of Slovenia's motorway network, generated EUR 480.75 million in revenue last year, up 3.3% over 2018, but its net profit was down by 9.5% to EUR 139.61 million.
LJUBLJANA - Tool maker group Unior saw its revenue rise by 3% to EUR 256 million last year, continuing a multi-year trend. Net profit dropped by 14% to EUR 10.4 million.
WEDNESDAY, 1 April
LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Defence Committee rejected a government proposal to give the Slovenian Armed Forces limited police powers to control the border that the government said was essential to help relieve the burden on police officers so that they could better be deployed to help keep the coronavirus epidemic in check. The proposal to activate Article 37.a of the defence law was endorsed by coalition MPs and an opposition party, but this was not enough to secure the required two-thirds majority.
LJUBLJANA - The number of coronavirus cases in Slovenia rose by 56 in a day to 897, with one more death and death toll at 16. This was out of 24,857 tests taken. As many as 162 of those infected are care home residents and 32 are care home staff.
LJUBLJANA - Dozens Slovenians returned home on flights organised by the Foreign Ministry and were ordered a 14-day self-isolation; a plane from Lisbon carrying 16 Slovenians touched down, and another 20 arrived home from Thailand, the Philippines and Switzerland by bus from Zurich airport. The ministry said no more special flights would be organised from distant locations after 6 April.
LJUBLJANA - Three teams of journalists of the public broadcaster RTV Slovenija were assaulted in recent days; in two cases they were harassed verbally, and in another the company's vehicle was damaged. The incidents were condemned by the Journalists' Association (DNS) and politicians.
LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor and his Estonian counterpart Kersti Kaljulaid discussed the coronavirus pandemic and measures to contain over the phone, agreeing on mutual assistance should the respective country need it. While endorsing measures taken by their government to curb the outbreak, Pahor and Kaljulaid stressed democratic values and the rule of law must be respected.
NEW YORK, US - A group of Slovenians from the US boarded a special Hungarian plane in New York. After landing in Budapest, they were to be transported to the Hungarian-Slovenian border, where they were to be tested before going into a 14-day isolation or quarantine in Slovenia.
NAZARJE - BSH Hišni Aparati, which was one of the first large manufacturers in Slovenia to halt production over the epidemic, is also among the first to resume business. The company, the largest producer of small household appliances in Europe, operated at 15% of capacity on Monday and hopes to be at 50% next week, its director Boštjan Gorjup told the buesiness newspaper Finance.
LJUBLJANA - Robert Šumi, a researcher at the Police Academy, took over as the new head of the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption for a six-year term, replacing controversial Boris Štefanec, whose term ended in March.
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia is yet to implement 13 rulings by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which makes it one of the countries with the lowest number of such rulings, according to the Council of Europe's annual report on the supervision of the execution of the court's judgements and decisions for 2019.
THURSDAY, 2 April
LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly passed by 53 votes to one a EUR 3 billion stimulus package aiming to cushion the impact of coronavirus on Slovenia's economy and society. The umbrella law brings financial assistance for companies and workers affected by the epidemic as well as for the self-employed, pensioners, students, large families and welfare recipients. It also includes a toned-down expansion of police powers. PM Janez Janša announced a second package which will include corrections to the first law, while a third one would set out an "exit strategy after the government takes a decision on the end of the epidemic."
LJUBLJANA - PM Janez Janša called for a determined and coordinated action in the face of the coronavirus epidemic at national and European levels in an interview with the European Post. "In normal circumstances, and in principle, I am strongly against that those who perform better automatically support all others. But for this pandemic circumstances, issuing a common debt instrument would send out a strong signal of unity and solidarity," he said.
LJUBLJANA - Foreign Minister Anže Logar expressed regret that Slovenia is lagging behind in NATO defence goals after taking part in a teleconferenced ministerial of the alliance. Talking over the phone to Slovenian reporters, he said that past governments should have given more funds to the military and regretted they had not carried out the planned military equipment acquisitions.
LJUBLJANA - Telekom Slovenije posted a group net profit of EUR 1.2 million for 2019, a fraction of the EUR 33.3 million it recorded in 2018, largely due to a one-off payment over a now dissolved media joint venture, Antenna TV SL. Group net sales stood at EUR 675.4 million, 6% below the 2018 level.
LJUBLJANA - The supervisory board of NLB okayed the proposal of the management board to convene a shareholders meeting for 15 June. The country's leading bank, which was privatised last year, announced shareholders would vote on a proposal that the entire EUR 228.04 million in distributable profit remain undistributed for the time being.
LJUBLJANA - Only nine out of 13 points on the Slovenian-Austrian border remain open after the Austrian government put in place additional restrictions to contain the spread of coronavirus. The border points at Karavanke, Šentilj (the motorway and rail crossing), Gornja Radgona and Kuzma will operate around the clock.